A PLAYFUL wrestle with mates turned horribly wrong for Jake Howe who was left a quadriplegic earlier this year.
The 21-year-old carpenter was about to secure land in Byford for a home with his pregnant partner, Jessica Morgan, but was suddenly left unable to walk let alone work.
He hopes to be discharged from Shenton Park rehabilitation hospital in August.
Mr Howe’s boss, Des Milne, is organising a fundraiser to help the couple achieve their dream of owning a home.
Mr Milne said Jake had only one sick day in six years while with the Beckenham business and he was like a younger brother to him.
He hopes to raise enough money to help the couple buy a block before rallying his tradesmen contacts to build a modified home for minimal cost.
In the lead-up to a July 14 raffle and auction, Mr Howe’s mum, Carol, urged other young people to think through their actions to avoid injury.
“It hurts so much to know how much is lost, how his life was planned out,” Mrs Howe said.
“We had a lot of people ask us how they can help – well this is it. This fundraiser is what we need help with now.”
WA Trauma Unit director Sudhakar Rao said 18 per cent of inpatients at the trauma unit last year were injured simply while having fun.
“We urge people to just take a moment to consider the risk. A person’s whole life can change for them and their family in a split second,” Dr Rao said.
Mrs Howe also hopes the fundraiser may help the Shenton Park facility get its own vehicle to transport patients to their families for visits.
For people like Mr Howe, whose families live in the south-east metropolitan area, the cost of transport can be significant. Taxi vouchers offered by the Government were capped at $35 a trip, but a taxi for Mr Howe cost $100 each way.
A Royal Perth Hospital spokesman said the hospital appreciated the generosity of the public and he advised people to identify the specific purpose of their donations so they could be directed accordingly.